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New Year’s Resolutions: Helpful or Harmful?

By Emma Huntzinger, Communications Manager

Originally posted December 30, 2022

Each new year brings with it feelings of renewal, hope, cleansing… But it can also bring with it feelings of intimidation, anxiety, and fear.

So, as the clock strikes midnight this weekend, I have to ask – are New Year’s resolutions helpful or harmful?

New Year’s resolutions can be helpful and motivating…AND New Year’s resolutions can be intimidating and disappointing. The bottom line, don’t take them too seriously.

It’s a new year, but it’s not a new you. Not immediately at least. Real change takes time, and if your resolutions push you to be better, follow them! If your resolutions are stressing you out and taking away from the good in your life, abandon them.

There’s no shame in abandoning New Year’s resolutions. Here at CommUnity, we like to say “you are not alone” a lot, but you’re quite literally not alone in abandoning resolutions. 23% of them are abandoned by the second week in January. Personally, I’ve already abandoned my resolutions and it’s December 30th.

Focusing on small habit changes that lead to a better you is a more attainable approach than making your end goal your resolution.

  • “I will make an effort to be physically active each day”
  • “I will reach out for help when I need it”
  • “I will speak nicely to myself and treat myself with respect”

Each of these resolutions have an end goal of better mental health without the pressure to have “perfect” mental health by the end of the year.

And remember, if you do abandon your resolution, you’re not giving up. You’re giving yourself the grace and space to achieve your goals outside of the confines of a particular year. Change is a journey, not an assignment.

We’re always improving. Even when we don’t know it. This New Year, let’s continue the excellent work we did this year, and continue to give ourselves and our neighbors empathy and grace in the coming year.

See you next year!